“And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.” — Matthew 14:20
The story of Jesus feeding the hungry crowd is repeated five times in four gospels, more than any other miracle story. Throughout the Bible, God makes it clear that hungry and poor people deserve justice. The reality is that it is within our power to help end hunger in our lifetime — if we set our hearts and minds to the task. The Reverend Dr. Forbes will explore the biblical priority to love neighbor and how we can practically incarnate this imperative in our every day lives by making a difference in the lives of the hungry of the world.
One of the most powerful ways to effect change is often the most neglected—public policy advocacy. Now is the time to raise our voices and change history for hungry people. Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. God’s grace in Jesus Christ moves us to help our neighbors, whether they live in the next house, the next state, or the next continent. Together we can build the political commitment needed to overcome hunger and poverty and change the policies, programs, and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist. Together we can effect the required change that will provide help and opportunity far beyond the communities where we live.
The Reverend Dr. James Alexander Forbes, Jr. is the Harry Emerson Fosdick distinguished professor at Union Theological Seminary, senior minister emeritus of the Riverside Church, and president of the Healing of the Nations Foundation. From 1989 to 2007, Forbes served as senior minister of Riverside Church. He was the first African-American to lead its interdenominational, multicultural congregation. Before being called to Riverside’s pulpit, Forbes spent 15 years as a professor of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Because of his extensive career and his charismatic style, Forbes is often introduced as the preacher’s preacher. In 1996, Newsweek recognized him as one of the 12 “most effective preachers.” From 1992 to 2007, Forbes was the co-chair of A Partnership of Faith, an interfaith organization of clergy among New York’s Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim communities. He is past president of the Martin Luther King Fellows.